ERJ staff report (TP)
Valencia, Spain – A more durable and sustainable asphalt mix has been created by the Technological Institute of Plastics (AIMPLAS) in Spain using old tires and plastic waste.
AIMPLAS, in collaboration with Acciona Infraestructuras, the Road General Directorate of Madrid Community and coordinated by the University of Cantabria, has produced the new asphalt.
The institute said they used the original waste, “end of use tires”, “polypropylene (mainly) caps”, polyethylene packages and polystyrene hangers to pave a 2-km long M-300 section road at access points to Alcalá de Henares (near Madrid).
After studying the performance of the asphalted section road over the last 18 months, the “POLYMIX” project’s partners have concluded that new asphalt mixes comply with the requirements established in the technical specifications to build roads and that mixes including polymeric wastes in their compositions are more resistant to plastic deformation than the traditional mixes. This allows mixes to perform much better when cracks appear, especially with high temperatures and slow moving traffic
Moreover, a generalised increased rigidity is produced without compromising or even improving the fatigue behaviour of the mixes, as in the case of end of use tires. These mechanical properties convert POLYMIX mixes in a rolling layer which carries a higher traffic load and improves the structural capacity of pavement.
All the polymeric materials tested show “very good” results in the technical and economic viability study. In the case of end of use tires and polypropylene, it “has been proved that thanks to these components, the mixes can be manufactured with lower thicknesses due to their improved properties. This is why cost of production is reduced”.
AIMPLAS is the Technological Institute of Plastics located in Valencia and is a non-profit research association. It acts as a “technological partner with companies in all sectors related to plastics, customising integral and personalised solutions through the coordination of projects and technological services”.
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Press release from AIMPLAS